An important step in restarting the grounded Boeing 737 Max could take place early next week, two people said on Friday.
Boeing’s best-selling aircraft has been discontinued since March 2019 after 346 people were killed in two fatal accidents. A certification flight test, which is expected to take at least two days, is expected to take place on Tuesday, but has not yet been completed. The Federal Aviation Administration would then have to approve new pilot training procedures and take other steps, and would likely not approve the aircraft’s grounding until September, the sources said.
A decision on the timing of the FAA certification test flight could be made at the end of the day on Friday, the sources said.
Boeing shares fell 3% in midday trading.
The FAA has stated that it is “in regular contact with Boeing as the company continues to work on the 737 Max … the aircraft will not be released to return to the passenger service until the FAA is satisfied that all security issues are fixed. “”
Reuters reported on June 10 that Boeing plans to conduct an important certification test flight by the end of June.
Boeing also announced a fix to airlines earlier this month to address safety concerns regarding the placement of bundles of cables on the plane.
In March, Reuters reported that Boeing 737 Max bundles of cables, identified by regulators as potentially dangerous, would disconnect before the jet is put back into service.
In early April, Boeing confirmed that two new software updates would be made for the 737 Max flight control computer. However, it was said that software issues that led to the updates had nothing to do with a system called MCAS, which failed in both major crashes. Boeing is expanding the MCAS anti-stall system with new security measures.